Wesleyan Writers Conference

Anne Greene

Wesleyan Writers Conference Address:
Downey House
294 High Street, Room 207
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT 06459

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Recent faculty and speakers

Amy Bloom     Nicholson Baker Salvatore Scibona William Finnegan
Honor Moore Rivka Galchen Tiphanie Yanique Joseph J. Fins
Elizabeth Poliner Steve Almond Ann Goldstein Roxana Robinson
Alexander Chee Elissa Schappell Lisa Weinert Lis Harris


Writing Fiction

Amy BloomAMY BLOOM is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories, a children's book, and an essay collection. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. Random House published Bloom's most recent and best-selling novel Lucky Us, named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and O: The Oprah Magazine. Bloom is currently Wesleyan's Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Novel and Short Story

Salvatore ScibonaSALVATORE SCIBONA is an American novelist and short-story writer. His short stories have been published in Threepenny Review, Best New American Voices 2004, The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize, A Public Space, D di la Repubblica, Satisfaction, the New York Times, and The New Yorker

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The New Yorker named Scibona one of "20 under 40" notable writers in 2010. Scibona's first book, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Norman Mailer Cape Cod Award for Exceptional Writing. He was also awarded a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award. In 2010, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Scibona's short stories have won him a Puschart Prize and an O. Henry Award. He currently teaches at Wesleyan University.


Honor MooreHONOR MOORE is the author of three poetry collections: Red ShoesDarling, and Memoir as well as two memoirs: The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margaret Sargent by Her Granddaughter and The Bishop’s Daughter, named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times, a “Favorite Book of 2008” by the Los Angeles Times, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

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Her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway and published in The New Women’s Theatre: Ten Plays by Contemporary American Women, which she edited.  She has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Her poems and prose have appeared in The New Yorker, Salmagundi, Conjunctions, The New Republic, The American Scholar, Open City, The Paris Review and other journals and anthologies.


Literary Journalism and Memoir

Lis HarrisLIS HARRIS is an American journalist and author. Harris was a staff worker at The New Yorker for 25 years, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The World Policy Journal, and the Wilson Quarterly.

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She is currently a professor of writing at Columbia University and is working on a book about three generations of a Palestinian family and three generations of an Israeli family. Her previous books include Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family.

Editing and Publishing

SpillmanRob Spillman is Editor and co-founder of Tin House, an eighteen-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine, and currently serves as the Chair of the 2017PEN World Voices Curatorial Committee. He is the 2015 recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing as well as the 2015 VIDO Award from VIDA.

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Tin House is the recipient of the 2015 Firecracker Award for General Excellence and has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthologyand numerous other anthologies. He is also the Executive Editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Summer Workshop, now in its fourteenth year. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Guernica, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, which was published in 2009. He is on the board of CLMP (the Community of Literary Magazines and Small Presses), the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council, and Narrative4. He has guest taught at universities around the world, including Queensland University in Brisbane, the Farafina Workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, the SLS Workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nairobi, Kenya, the Catholic University of Santiago, Chile, the University of Florida, New York University, Brooklyn College, Amherst, Williams, and is currently a lecturer at Columbia University. His memoir, All Tomorrow’s Parties, was published by Grove Press in April, 2016.


SchappellElissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, most recently Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco ChronicleThe Boston GlobeThe Wall Street JournalNewsweek/The Daily Beast, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

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Use Me, her first book, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her fiction, nonfiction, and criticism have appeared in many publications, including The Paris ReviewThe New York Times Book ReviewSpinBombOne Story, and anthologies such as The Mrs. Dalloway ReaderLit RiffsCooking and StealingBound to Last, and The KGB Bar Reader. She is a contributing editor and the Hot Type columnist at Vanity Fair, a former senior editor at The Paris Review, and a cofounder and editor at large of Tin House magazine. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia and in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn.

GalchenRivka Galchen is a fiction writer and journalist who publishes regularly in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Harper’s. Her novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, won the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Fiction

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She is also the recipient of a Berlin Prize, a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award, and a Cullman Center Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Her collection of stories, American Innovations, was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Her latest book, Little Labors, was published in May of 2016 by New Directions.

AlmondSteve Almond spent seven years as a newspaper reporter in Texas and Florida before writing his first book, the story collection My Life in Heavy Metal. He is the author of eight books, and his non-fiction book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times Bestseller.

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His short fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and his most recent collection, God Bless America, won the Paterson Prize for Fiction. Almond teaches a seminar in narrative writing for The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, and a course in literary journalism as a Koeppel Journalism Fellow at Wesleyan University. Almond writes commentary and journalism regularly for The New York Times Magazine and The Boston Globe.

Lisa Weinert has been an editor and publicist for the past 15 years, publishing and promoting hundreds of best-selling and award-winning authors and witnessing first-hand how the written word transforms lives.read more
In 2011, Lisa launched Lisa Weinert Consulting, where she works directly with authors and digital publishers to design publishing programs and PR campaigns. She specializes in narrative nonfiction and literary fiction with a special interest in memoir, spirituality, health and social justice.

Isaac Fitzgerald is Books Editor at BuzzFeed, co-host of The Tell Show, and co-author of Pen & Ink: Chefs and the Stories behing their Tattoos.

Nadxieli Nieto is the Managing Editor of NOON, and the lead designer and editor at Nieto Books. NOON regularly publishes the work of such critically acclaimed authors as Christine Schutt, Lydia Davis, Gary Lutz, Clancy Martin, and Deb Olin Unferth. Formerly, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Salt Hill Journal, and has spent the last decade working as a writer, editor, and designer.read more

Her writing has appeared in ClamorThe New York TyrantWest Wind ReviewDirty Durty Diary, and Washington Square Review, among others. Group exhibitions include "Just Spaces," Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition, Los Angeles; "Patheographies," Gallery 400, Chicago; "Mapquest," PS122 Gallery, NY. 

Toni Robino is co-founder of Windword Books, a new boutique publishing company created to put great independent titles on equal footing in the marketplace with traditionally published books. 

Sarah Moon is a teacher, writer, and translator.  She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Elizabeth Poliner: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Elizabeth Poliner's new novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, has been named an Amazon Best Book for March 2016.  She is also the author of Mutual Life & Casualty, a novel in stories, and Sudden Fog, a chapbook of poems. Her stories and poems have been published in literary journals nationwide, and her awards include numerous individual artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, and residencies at Yaddo and the Virginia Center in the Creative Arts.

Catina Bacote: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Catina Bacote’s nonfiction has appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Sun, The Common, Heart & Soul, The Southern California Review, and Trace: Transcultural Styles + Ideas. She wrote a companion guide to the documentary Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Catina holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was admitted as a Dean’s Fellow and subsequently served as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. She is a professor of creative writing at Warren Wilson College.

Kathryn Nuernberger: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Kathryn Nuernberger was born in St. Louis,  Missouri, on August 1, 1980. She earned a BA from the University of Missouri, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and a PhD from Ohio University.

Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2016), which received the 2015 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, given to recognize a superior second book of poetry by an American poet. She is also the author of Rag & Bone, which won the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and was published in 2011.

Her honors include fellowships from The American Antiquarian Society and The Bakken Museum. Nuernberger teaches creative writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she also serves as the director of Pleiades Press. She lives in Columbia, Missouri.


Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry:

Pamela Erens: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Pamela Erens' most recent novel, The Virgins, was a New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Editors' Choice and was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New Yorker, The New Republic, Library Journal, and Salon. She is also the author of The Understory, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of literary, cultural, and mainstream publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, The Millions, Aeon, Chicago Review, Boston Review, New England Review. For many years Pamela was an editor at Glamour magazine. Her third novel, Eleven Hours, will be published by Tin House Books in May 2016.

William Klaber: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

William Klaber is a part-time journalist who lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short ways upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago. The old farmhouse that he bought with his wife Jean in 1980 (and where they raised three children) had a history with Lucy's legend, but he didn't know that till years later when he sat down with Jack Niflot, a long-time local historian. Jack told him Lucy's story and showed him a leather satchel filled with recollections and articles about her, gathered over years. What Jack hadn't found with his searching was the memoir that Lucy had promised. Saying that he no longer felt up to writing a book of his own, Jack handed the satchel to the author. Following the gift of Jack's research, Klaber made his own effort to find Lucy's memoir. When nothing came of it, he decided that the finding would have to be by way of echoes and dreams. Mr. Klaber is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is best known for producing the public radio documentary, "The RFK Tapes," and co-authoring the book Shadow Play (St. Martins, 1997). The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is his first foray into fiction.

Karin Lin-Greenberg: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

Karin Lin-Greenberg's story collection, Faulty Predictions, won the 2013 Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals including The Antioch Review Bellevue Literary ReviewBerkeley Fiction ReviewEpochFive ChaptersKenyon Review Online, and North American Review. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA from Temple University, an AB from Bryn Mawr College and has been awarded fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught creative writing at Missouri State University, the College of Wooster, and Appalachian State University. Currently, she lives in upstate New York and is an assistant professor in the English Department at Siena College.

Lisa Reisman: Teaching Fellow in Nonfiction

Lisa Reisman is currently a Connecticut freelance reporter whose work has appeared in The Shoreline Times, The New Haven Register, The Middletown Press, Connecticut Magazine, The New Haven Advocate, and Poets & Writers Magazine. She has written copy for The New Yorker and Conde Nast Traveler.  Reisman studied Ancient Greek and Latin at Haverford, Oxford and Yale, and law at the University of Virginia. She practiced law in New York City for four years. A Dean's Fellow at Columbia University's School of the Arts, she has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and a work study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her first book, 5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours, was published in March 2015.


Rebecca Morgan Frank: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of The Spokes of Venus and ;Little Murders Everywhere, one of the three finalists for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her next manuscript-in-progress. Her poems, essays, and stories have recently appeared in such places as Ploughshares, New England Review, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, Literary Imagination, Guernica, 32 Poems, Los Angeles Review of Books, Five Chapters, and Washington Square, and have been reprinted in Best New Poets 2008, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA), Catwalk, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her poems have been set as art song by composers Eric Malmquist and Brian Baxter, as well as by Aaron Stepp, with whom she recently collaborated on a work of digital music as joint fellows at VCCA. Her poem "Caught," which first appeared in New England Review, has been made into a film by Jay Buim through Motionpoems.



Teaching Fellows in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction

DAVID JAMES POISSANT: Teaching Fellow in Fiction

David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals: Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

ERIC BURGER: Teaching Fellow in Poetry

Eric Burger has received fellowships/awards from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and Writers at Work. His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review Online, Indiana Review, Rattle, Sentence, Phoebe, Best New Poets 2011, Hayden's Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, CutBank, Court Green, Mid-American Review, and Passages North, among others.He teaches at the University of Colorado and lives in Longmont, CO with his wife Katherine and children Willem and June.

SARAH WILDMAN: Barach Fellow in Nonfiction

Sarah Wildman writes on the intersection of culture and politics, history and memory in Europe and America. Over the last decade, she has lived in and reported from Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Washington, Jerusalem and Berlin. She was the 2010 Peter R. Weitz Prize winner, from the German Marshall Fund, a prize awarded for excellence and originality in European coverage, a 2011 Rockower Award winner from the American Jewish Press Association for commentary, and a 2008 Lowell Thomas Award Winner for travel writing. She is a regular contributor toThe New York TimesThe New Yorker on lineThe Guardian, The Washington Post, and Slate;among many others, as well as a contributing editor at The Forward. A former New Republic staffer, Wildman's book - Paper Love - for Riverhead/Penguin Press on the lover her grandfather left behind when he fled Vienna is expected Fall 2014.

Wildman has also received numerous grants and competitive fellowships including an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship in Berlin, an American Council on Germany Fellowship in Berlin, Milena Jesenska Fellowship in Vienna, Austria (the first North American to receive this honor), and a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now called the International Reporting Project). Her work in America has focused on our culture wars and how we export them. In March 2013 she received a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant to report on the future of Jerusalem. From 2011 through 2014 she has been a visiting scholar at the International Reporting Project, based at Johns Hopkins SAIS.


Fellows in previous years: Amy Bloom, Amanda Davis, Paul LaFarge, Suji Kwok Kim, Bruce Bond, Judy Jordan, G.E.Patterson, Tom Hallman (Pulitzer winner), John D'Agata, Beverly D'Onofrio, Jennifer Haigh, Daniel Handler (author of Lemony Snicket), Wendy Rawlings, Jess Row, Jim Tomlinson, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Ravi Shankar, Alexandra Peers, and Roya Hakakian, Michelle Hoover, Jonathan Thirkield, Alta Ifland, Miranda Kennedy, Irina Reyn, Jeff Jones, Steve Almond.